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Supreme Court Sends Little Sisters’ Case Back to Lower Courts (6685)

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Little Sisters of the Poor, called the ruling an ‘important win.’

05/16/2016 Comments (15)
Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Pope Francis visits the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington on Sept. 23, 2015.

– Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor

WASHINGTON — In a unanimous May 16 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has sent back to the lower courts a challenge to the federal contraception mandate raised by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The lawsuit involves the Department of Health and Human Services’ federal contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide contraception and drugs that can produce abortions in employee health plans. While the government has offered an exemption to many corporations, it has no exemption for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who help run houses to care for the elderly poor.

“The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Obama administration a final chance to work out a compromise with religious...READ MORE

Filed under becket fund for religious liberty, contraceptive mandate, little sisters of the poor, religious liberty, supreme court of the united states

Pope on Pentecost: ‘We Were Made to Be God’s Children; It Is in Our DNA’ (2307)

To be a child of God is our ‘primordial vocation,’ Francis said May 15. He also said Mary ‘is the living remembrance of the Son and the living invocation of the Holy Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit, he added, teaches us ‘the only essential thing: to love as God loved.’

05/16/2016 Comments (3)
Instagram.com/Franciscus

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — Although sin separates us from God, Pope Francis stressed on Pentecost Sunday that we haven’t been left as orphans. Thanks to Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can reconcile with the Lord and continue to live as his children.

“The central purpose of Jesus’ mission, which culminated in the gift of the Holy Spirit, was to renew our relationship with the Father, a relationship severed by sin, to take us from our state of being orphaned children and to restore us as his sons and daughters,” the Pope said May 15.

“We were made to be God’s children; it is in our DNA,” he said, explaining that “the Spirit is given to us by the Father and leads us back to the...READ MORE

Filed under evangelization, holy spirit, mother of god, pentecost, pope francis

Former Political Prisoner in Cuba: Everyone Is Called to ‘Bear Witness to the Truth’ (1274)

Armando Valladares, a former prisoner of conscience in Cuban prisons, received the 2016 Canterbury Medal bestowed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on May 12.

05/16/2016 Comments (1)
BecketFund.org

Armando Valladares

– BecketFund.org

NEW YORK — Everyone must be true to his or her own conscience, a religious-freedom advocate and former political prisoner told a gala audience on Thursday.

“Even when we have nothing, each person and only that person possesses the key to his or her own conscience, his or her own sacred castle,” Armando Valladares, a former prisoner of conscience in Cuban prisons, said upon reception of the 2016 Canterbury Medal bestowed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty May 12.

“In that respect, each of us, though we may not have an earthly castle or even a house, each of us is richer than a king or queen,” he continued.

Valladares, who spent 22 years in prison for refusing to support the...READ MORE

Filed under becket fund for religious liberty, freedom of conscience, little sisters of the poor, religious liberty

Priest Tortured by Muslim Terrorists Tells Story of Christian Genocide (7979)

Father Douglas Al-Bazi, a Syriac-Catholic priest who was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Islamic State terrorists in November 2006, pleads for the deliverance of his people.

05/16/2016 Comments (22)
Alejandro Bermudez/CNA

Father Douglas Al-Bazi, an Iraqi-Catholic parish priest in Erbil, speaks April 28 during the #WeAreN2016 Congress in New York.

– Alejandro Bermudez/CNA

Most Christians are familiar with the word “confessor” when it refers to an ordained priest who hears one’s confession. However, the original meaning of the word, derived from the Latin confiteri (to confess or profess) was a term used by first-century Christians for a completely different reason. They used it to refer to the stalwart champions of the Church who had confessed Christ publicly in times of persecution and were exiled, imprisoned, tortured or enslaved, but not killed, rather than abandoned their faith in Christ.

Father Douglas Joseph Shimshon Al-Bazi, a Syriac-Catholic priest, is that kind of confessor. He was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Islamic State terrorists in...READ MORE

Filed under #wearen2016, father douglas al-bazi, middle east genocide, persecution of christians

March for Life UK: ‘We Are a Joyful Celebration of Life’ (1106)

Third consecutive March for Life was held in Birmingham, England, this past weekend.

05/16/2016 Comments (1)
March4LifeUK Instagram

– March4LifeUK Instagram

BIRMINGHAM England — Thousands of men, women and children took to the streets of Birmingham on Saturday to take a stand for the unborn and be witnesses to their community.

“At the very heart of this is the life of the unborn and the protection of that life,” Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham told CNA ahead of this year’s March for Life U.K.

“Alongside that is the Church’s concern for the mother, for those who are advising, those who are family, and the concern to support and to reflect God’s mercy in those circumstances.”

This is the third consecutive year the March for Life has been held in the heart of Birmingham. The archbishop said the event aims to witness in a peaceful way...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic england, dignity of human life, prolife witness

Pope: True Compassion Is Manifestation of God’s Mercy (1184)

People deserve more love from us than animals do, Pope Francis said this weekend: ‘How often do we see people greatly attached to cats, to dogs,’ but fail to ‘help their neighbor, their neighbor who is in need. ... This will not do.’

05/16/2016 Comments (1)
Instagram.com/Franciscus

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — People in need deserve more love from us than animals do, Pope Francis said this weekend.

In off-the-cuff remarks Saturday, he said: “How often do we see people greatly attached to cats, to dogs,” but fail to “help their neighbor, their neighbor who is in need. ... This will not do.”

The Pope’s catechesis for the Jubilee of Mercy audience discussed the theme of piety and how it shows God’s mercy through compassion for the suffering and afflicted.

“The piety of which we speak is a manifestation of God’s mercy,” the Pope told the rain-soaked crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

He explained that piety, or pietà — which in Italian can also be translated as compassion, pity...READ MORE

Filed under compassion, love of neighbor, pope francis, year of mercy

The Angel of Peace at Fatima: A Message of Mercy (5240)

COMMENTARY

05/13/2016 Comments (9)
EWTN.com/fatima

– EWTN.com/fatima

The message of Fatima is a message that is relevant for all times. The focal point of this particular article is the 100th anniversary of the Angel of Peace and the significance of this Jubilee Year of Mercy set forth by our Holy Father Pope Francis, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 2017.

In the spring of 1916, the angel appeared, saying, “Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” The three children knelt with the angel and reverently repeated this prayer:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you! I ask pardon of you for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you!” Having repeated these words...READ MORE

Filed under fatima, fatima family apostolate, marian apparitions, our lady of fatima, year of mercy

Pope’s ‘Mercy Friday’ Mission for May: Visiting L’Arche (2074)

On May 13, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a community in Italy that houses and cares for persons who have severe mental disabilities.

05/13/2016 Comment
CNA Instagram

Pope Francis visits L’Arche home outside of Rome.

– CNA Instagram

ROME — On Friday afternoon, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a community in Italy that houses and cares for persons who have severe mental disabilities. He visited both the caregivers and the beneficiaries.

The visit was part of his “Mercy Friday” initiative, in which he carries out one act of mercy a month on a Friday throughout the Jubilee of Mercy.

The Pope’s visit to Il Chicco was announced in a May 13 communiqué from Father Federico Lombardi, the Holy See press officer.

Today’s visit to Il Chicco is the fifth “sign of mercy” done by Pope Francis to mark the months of the Jubilee of Mercy: In January, he visited a nursing home; in February, he spent time with a community for...READ MORE

Filed under being merciful, l'arche, pope francis, year of mercy

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